Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Music to Soothe the Zombie Soul...

Lazy post alert! Lazy post alert!

I wrote this up for Facebook and decided to cross post it here because I spent an hour or two last night writing it.

Lists seem to be all the rage on the Facebook of late, and this is yet another. There are no rules per se. It is just me sharing songs that are working for me at this moment in time, along with a wee bit of insight as to why. If you feel like it, make your own list of however many songs that move you. I'm interested in such things.

I was tagged by Jay and Jen…

Carnage Visors by The Cure - This goes back to college. There’s something so plaintive and lonely about the sound of the guitar and bass in this song. It reminds me of my college apartment; the hiss of the radiator in the corner, the darkness lit only by the flickering of candles, and the bittersweet nostalgia when I remember a time when my life was stretched before me like a thundercloud on the horizon. Plus - nothing beats a 30 minute Cure instrumental piece. I still listen to it a couple times a week when I’m working.

The Summoning of the Muse by Dead Can Dance - I’m a big Dead Can Dance fan. I love their dark, world music feel. There's something about this song that reaches into my soul and gives it a sharp tug. The ethereal vocals, the choral quality, and the soaring minor melody all mix to make this a hauntingly beautiful piece of music unlike any I’ve ever heard.

Blood, Milk, and Sky by White Zombie - This song is a study in escalation. It starts out slow and grinding and then the sound and the momentum build and grow. It is, quite possibly, one of the most perfect alternative songs of all time.

Float by Flogging Molly - I just recently heard this song and it prompted me to, within an hour, go out and find the CD. This song appeals to the Irish in my soul and the lyrics are dangerously close to being autobiographical.

Doctor Who Trance Remix by Trance - This is so geeky that I’m almost embarrassed to post it… but here goes. I downloaded this song/mix from - an online site dedicated to accepting and posting remixes of the classic and modern Doctor Who themes. This version is - according to many of the listeners on the site - the best remix on the site. I agree wholeheartedly. I’ve attached a link so you can listen yourself… if you can bear the basement-like scent of geek all over the site! This is a trancey, techno piece that is perfect in its execution. This is part of my workout mix and I love to end a run with it. I dare you not to jump out of your seat and dance!

Goddess Chant (a cappella mix) by Inkubus Sukkubus - so simple, but so exquisite in it’s perfect harmonies. I’ve heard the Pagan Goddess chant a few times in my life and, somehow, I’ve never heard it done so beautifully or so lovingly.

Into the Mystic by Van Morrison - A classic. If someone were to ask me to introduce them to Van Morrison, I would play this song… and not Brown Eyed Girl. A perfect amalgamation of poetry, music, and imagery that is an encapsulation of everything I think of when I think of an Irish bard. Van Morrison has so many other incredible songs (Moondance, TB Sheets, and Crazy Love come to mind), but this one is - to me - my favorite.

I Just Want To Make Love to You by Muddy Waters - Nobody does the blues like Muddy Waters and this song is one of his finest. I also love that Muddy Waters was a downright dirty old bastard, and this song is the most upfront of them. A man after my own heart!

Darkness by Peter Gabriel - From Peter Gabriel’s last album (did I say album? Crap! I’m showing my age!), this is classic Peter. What’s amazing is how all of Peter Gabriel’s music is so progressive, how it stands the test of time. Stuff from Peter Gabriel I (Security) is just as good as the stuff on Up. And this song is all that is right and good about Peter Gabriel. The beautiful, imagery-laden lyrics, the tempo changes, the loud and discordant jangle of odd sounds juxtaposed against quiet interludes of music that would make anyone cry, and the perfect mix of music and voice that makes old Peter one of my all time favorite artists.

Welcome to the Machine by Rogers Waters {off of In the Flesh (Live)} - I found this on iTunes because you can’t buy the original version from Wish You Were Here (or much of the other good Pink Floyd) off of iTunes. The thing is I started to like this version more. Whereas the original is mixed and produced to perfection, the live sounds better and more raw.

El Matador by Flavio Cianciarulo - This is off of the Grosse Pointe Blank soundtrack. My friend Chrissy introduced it to me and I will be eternally grateful to her for doing so. It’s a crazy, upbeat song sung entirely in Spanish… but it never fails to make me want to get up and pogo around the room. I just put it back into my iPod for workouts and it is a great song to sweat to.

Ribcage Mambo by Frenchy - I just recently purchased a compilation of surf punk music dedicated to Halloween called Halloween Hootenanny. I got it initially to get a Rob Zombie song unavailable anywhere else off of it, but I’m finding I love the whole album. This song is quickly becoming my favorite and is great because it is less surfer music and more something you’d hear in a smoky jazz club in the 1950’s… if the club was at the corner of Hitler Blvd and East 666th street in Hell.

Dare by The Gorillaz - Damon Albarn is a genius and I own every one of The Gorillaz CD’s. I love how there’s such an eclectic mix of styles and genres on every one. Their last album, Demon Days, was brilliant and - given the scope of it’s brilliance - it’s amazing that there were standouts even beyond that. Dare is one of those. Danceable and infectious, Dare also has a darkness to it that belies the catchy break beat.

Mysterium by This Ascension - This song is very much like Dead Can Dance’s Summoning of the Muse, but more Gothy (is that a word?). There’s just something so haunting about the female vocals, the Latin lyrics, and the harsh background music.

Stained by Android Lust - Dark, disturbing, and driving… a great example of Goth/Ethereal music. I’m realizing, as I write this list, that I tend towards female Goth vocalists lately. Not sure what that’s about, but it is what it is. I’ve loved Android Lust for a few years now and I was somewhat dismayed to find, while flipping television channels the other night, that they were playing Android Lust on an episode of NCIS. While I love that they are mainstream, I hate that they’re mainstream. Does that make sense?

Moonlight Sonata (Piano Sonata no.14 in C Sharp Major) - Beethoven - Going old school here. Beethoven’s my favorite classical composer, and probably for all the wrong reasons, but I still love the beautiful simplicity of the piano in the first movement. I remember the first time I heard it, and it still has the power to move me to tears.

Signs by Bloc Party - My friend Kristin sent me a note through Facebook earlier this week asking if I’d heard of Bloc Party. She said they reminded her of me because they had a Cure-like sound. So, I went home and found some of their stuff on iTunes. I was blown away. What’s even funnier is, over the last couple days, I’ve been hearing about them all over the place. I even had another friend send me a Facebook request to join a group to bring them to Cleveland for a concert. I love this song especially and it will undoubtedly become a Dr. Zombie favorite.

Bleed it Out by Linkin Park - A great, short little song that never fails to make me smile. I love Linkin Park and this song is classic. It sounds like the band were having a blast when they recorded it and the lyrics are typical Linkin Park. I especially like the line about “Mama help me I’ve been cursed, Death is rolling in every verse, Candy paint on his brand new hearse, Can’t contain him he knows he works…”

Harder They Come by Oakenfold (featuring Nelly Furtado and Tricky) - I have been on an Oakenfold kick lately. He’s brilliant and that brilliance manifests itself with all of the collaborations he does. Serious artists (and some not so serious) all want to work with him. This is one of my favorite collaborations and, because of this song, I’ve become a Nelly Furtado fan. The piano, the synthetic strings, and the throbbing of Oakenfold’s beats behind Nelly Furtado’s voice is like the wondrous, creamy layers of a musical cake. That it has Tricky on it is like sprinkles on the already nicely done frosting.

Crucify by Grendel - Pure, jump in the pit, and dance your motherfucking ass off EBM. This is music that is best listened to whilst head-butting someone. It is primal, animalistic, and almost orgasmic when turned up as loud as you can get it.

BTW - speaking of the evil that is Facebook... if you're a regular reader and you have a Facebook account, please feel free to swing by and send me a friend invite. I'd be happy to add you! The link to my Facebook account is over to the right under my links.

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